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Origin Of The Belgian Towns
THE somewhat heterogeneous country which we now call Belgium formed part of Gaul under the Roman Empire. But though rich and commercial even then, it seems to have been relatively little Romanized ; and in the beginning of the fifth century it was over-run by the Salic Franks, on their way toward Laon, Soissons, and Paris.
The History of The Belgian Tower
IN the separate introductions to the various towns, dealing rather with origins than with history, I shall lay stress chiefly on the industrial and municipal facts, which in Belgium, indeed, are all-important.
Order Of The Tour
The Ostend route takes the towns naturally in the sequence I suggest. Visitors arriving by Harwich or Calais should not stop first at Antwerp or Brussels, but go straight to Bruges, and then double back again.
Origins Of Bruges
IN a lost corner of the great lowland flat of Flanders, defended from the sea by an artificial dyke, and at the point of intersection of an intricate network of canals and water-ways, there arose in the early Middle Ages a trading town, known in Flemish as Brugge, in French as Bruges (that is to say, The Bridge), from a primitive structure that here crossed the river.
The Heart Of Bruges
THE original nucleus of Bruges is formed by the Bourg, which stands near the centre of the modern city. In 865, Baldwin Bras-de-Fer, Count of Flanders, built a château or burg by the Reye, in a corner of land still marked by the modern canal of the Dyver, and near it a chapel, into which he transported the relics of St. Donatian.
The Hospital Of St. John
THE Hospital of St. John, one of the most ancient institutions in Bruges, or of its kind in Europe, was founded not later than 1188, and still retains, within and without, its mediæval arrangement.
The Town Of Bruges In General
THE town of Bruges itself is more interesting, after all, than almost any one thing in it. Vary your day by giving up the morning to definite sightseeing, and devoting the afternoon to strolls through the town and neighbourhood, in search of picturesqueness. I subjoin a few stray hints for such casual rambles.
Churches Of Bruges
THE original Cathedral of Bruges, St. Donatian, was destroyed, as we saw, by the French, in 1799; but the town still possesses two fine mediæval churches of considerable pretensions, as well as several others of lesser importance.
The Academy Of Bruges
THE Académie des Beaux-Arts, which formerly occupied the Poorters Loodge, or Guild Hall of the citizens within the gates, has a small but valuable collection of pictures, removed from the destroyed Cathedral of St. Donation and other churches of Bruges, which well repays a visit.
Origins Of Ghent
The chief object of interest at Ghent are the Cathedral, with its great Van Eyck ; and the Town Hall and Belfry. These can be tolerably seen in one day, but a stay of three or four days will not be too much to explore the curious nooks of the early city.
The Core Of Ghent
This walk will have led you through the principal part of early Ghent. Hence you may return either by the Cathedral or by the chief line of business streets which runs direct from the Pont du Laitage to the modern Palais de Justice and the Place d'Armes.
The Cathedral Of Ghent
The real interest of the Cathedral centres, however, not in St. Bavon, nor in his picture by Rubens, but in the great polyptych of the Adoration of the Lamb, the masterpiece of Jan van Eyck and his brother Hubert, which forms in a certain sense the point of departure for the native art of the Netherlands.
The Outskirts Of Ghent
OLD Ghent occupied for the most part the island which extends from the Palais de Justice on one side to the Botanical Gardens on the other.
Origins Of Brussels
BRUSSELS was in a certain sense the ancient capital of Brabant, as Bruges and Ghent were the ancient capitals of West and East Flanders. It grew up (as early as the eighth century) on the banks of the little river Senne, whose course through its midst is now masked by the modern Inner Boulevards, built on arches above the unseen stream.
The Heart Of Brussels
THE nucleus of Brussels, as of Paris, was formed by an island, now no longer existing. Round this islet ran two branches of the little river Senne, at present obliterated by the Inner Boulevards.
Brussels Picture Gallery - Hall Of The Old Masters
INTERPOLATE here the account of the Brussels Picture Gallery, because it is the most important object to be seen in the town, after the Grand Place and its neighbourhood.
Brussels Picture Gallery - Other Halls
If you want further information about the pictures in the Brussels Gallery, you will find it in Lafenestre and Richtenberger's La Belgique, in the series of La Peinture en Europe.
The Catherdral Of Brussels
THE Cathedral of Brussels is dedicated to St. Gudula or Ste. Gudule and to St. Michael the Archangel. Ste. Gudule is a holy person who takes us back to the earlier ages of Christianity among the Middle Franks.
Brussels - The Upper Town
FROM the Grand Place, two main lines of streets lead toward the Upper Town. The first, which we have already followed, runs straight to the Cathedral ; the second, known as the Rue de la Madeleine and then as the Montagne de la Cour, mounts the hill to the Place Royale.
Surroundings Of Brussels
THE only excursion of interest in the immediate neighbourhood of Brussels is that to Laeken (recommended), which may be taken by tram from the Inner Boulevards, the Gare du Nord the Gare du Midi, Bourse, etc.
Origins Of Antwerp
ANTWERP, the seaport of the Schelde estuary, is practically the youngest and the least interesting of the great Belgian towns.
Catherdral Of Antwerp
THE first thing to see at Antwerp is the High Church of Our Lady, once the Cathedral, and still commonly so called, though it is not now a bishop's see, but part of the diocese of Malines.
Antwerp Picture Gallery - Hall Of The Ancient Master
THE chief object of interest at Antwerp, even more important than the Cathedral itself, is the Picture Gallery, regally housed in a magnificent Museum at the south end of the town.
Antwerp Picture Gallery - The Rubens Room
It is usual to skip these insipid works of the intermediate age, and to jump at once from the School of Van Eyck to the School of Rubens — I think unwisely — for Rubens himself can only properly be appreciated as the product of an evolution.
The Town Of Antwerp In General
Mediaeval Antwerp, now no more, lay within a narrow ring of walls in the neighbourhood of the Cathedral. Its circumference formed a rough semicircle, whose base-line was the Schelde, while its outer walls may still be traced on a good map about the Rempart Ste. Catherine and the Rempart du Lombard.
Jesus In Gethsemane
And when we try to understand the meaning of what Jesus said and did, we are like the sailor out at sea who is trying to fathom the water over which he is sailing, and to find out how deep it is.
Life Of Jesus - Betrayal And Desertion
ONE of the darkest chapters in the history of our Saviour's life is this now before us. Here we see him betrayed into the hands of his enemies by one of his disciples and deserted by all the rest.
Life Of Jesus - The Trial
WE come now to another of the dark and sad chapters in the history of our Saviour's life. We have seen how he was betrayed by one of his disciples, and forsaken by all the rest.
Life Of Jesus - The Crucifixion
WE read in St. Matthew's gospel these three simple, but solemn words : They crucified him. Chap. xxvii : 35. Here we have set before us the greatest event in the history of our Saviour while he was on earth.
Life Of Jesus - The Burial
IN the last chapter, we left our blessed Lord hanging dead upon the cross. Deep darkness was spread over the land, as if to hide from view the awful wickedness which men were committing.
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